Garbage and recycling pickups will return to normal on holiday weeks for the rest of the fiscal year, after a Metro Council member’s protest about disproportionate impacts on the Urban Services District.
The compromise, reached between the Metro Council and Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration, will mean residents whose normal pickups fall on a holiday this fiscal year will get a day-late pickup, as it was previously.
The $70,000 cost for the change will be split: Public Works will cover $35,000 from its fiscal year 2019-20 budget and the council will cover $35,000 from its own carryover funds from the previous budget.
“The Council is very happy to have worked with the administration to restore garbage collection to our citizens,” said Council President David James, D-6th District. “Moving forward, we know we will face new challenges in the next budget cycle.”
Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26th District, pushed last week for his colleagues to send nearly $70,000 of the $4 million year-end surplus to restore holiday pickups, calling the current arrangement “unsafe,” “unsanitary” and “downright unfair” to residents.
Members of the budget committee on Dec. 5 didn’t accept his amendment, but did agree to discuss it with Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration — which agreed to a compromise, announced Thursday.
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The city’s Public Works department said in August that some Louisville residents would have to wait a week before trash, recycling or yard waste were picked up on so-called “no collection-no delay” holidays — Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Memorial Day.
The change only applied to residents of the Urban Services District, the old city of Louisville boundaries, who would ordinarily see pickups on the day of the week of the affected holiday.
Those residents wouldn’t see a pickup the day after the holiday, the August announcement said, and would have to wait until the following week.
Louisville officials blamed the change on budget cuts that went into effect on July 1.
The approved budget for Public Works notes that the department is “eliminating four holiday yard waste collections on Saturdays.” It also eliminated 14 full-time positions and the wet-dry recycling pilot in the central business district.
From August: Your trash may not get picked up when you think this Labor Day in Louisville
Ackerson argued last week that it was the Urban Services District, which already pays more in taxes for services like those, that bears the brunt of the impact of that change — which he said was neither equitable nor fair.
“Those in the Urban Services District pay three times the taxes, for their property taxes, than those in the general county. The garbage pickup (change) affects these folks that are paying three times the taxes. It’s not affecting the rest of the county,” Ackerson said.
A spokeswoman for Fischer’s office said earlier this year that the elimination of the four Saturday pickups in connection with holidays would save an estimated $93,000.
To find what day your garbage, recycling and yard waste pickup days are, visit louisvilleky.gov/city-services/mylouisville and enter your address.
This story may be updated.
Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dctello. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/darcyc.
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